The Good, Bad and Ugly of Being a Mom Who Blogs

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I’ve talked a lot with y’all over the last couple of years about how to create a successful, profitable blog. And I’ve talked about a lot of the great reasons for being a blogger, and why I think it’s basically the BEST job in the world.

(Ok, professional puppy snuggler might be better, but I don’t think there are a lot of those positions available!)

But being a blogger isn’t always a bed of roses. Just like any other job, there are down sides to this one, and there are some things that will just stress you right the heck out.

One of the biggest reason most moms start blogging is because they want to stay home with their kids, but they also want to be able to contribute to the family finances. The problem is that many of us started with this idea that blogging was kind of an easy, stress-free job – and found out quickly this just isn’t true.

In fact, a lot of people have this crazy idea that blogging is pretty much no work at all, and if you just sit down and start writing, you’re going to get a bunch of readers and that you’ll suddenly start making money – and that’s REALLY not true!

While it’s true that blogging can be more convenient than a 9-5 office job for moms, it does take quite a bit of time and effort if you want to make money. If blogging is going to be your career, then you need to treat it as such and that means finding a way to put in the required work.

Of course, “full time” for blogging doesn’t have to be more than four or five hours a day – but if you’ve got kids at home, you need to schedule that time in between feeding and naps and bathtime and playtime… Sometimes it can take all day just to get one blog post done, in 5 minute spurts between dealing with life. In other words, you might not have a boss breathing down your neck, but you’ll probably have kids crawling in your lap, constantly interrupting and making it difficult to get things done.

And let’s not forget that other person that lives in your house – the one you’re possibly married to. The one who thinks this whole blogging idea is cute, but kind of a waste of time and who sometimes wishes you’d go find a “real” job.  That’s a big fear for a lot of blogging moms – if it doesn’t work out, you may have to put the kids in daycare and find outside work. Of course it’s a great motivator, but it can be really stressful and can cause some arguments. I’ve noticed my husband gets really supportive of my blog on the months where I’ve pulled in big money!

“An Army of One…” 

Another stress that comes with blogging is that you’ll be doing it mostly on your own. When something goes wrong with your blog, if you’re like most of us, you’re going to have to figure it out for yourself. There is no friendly co-worker or IT guy in the next office that can come and tell you why your images aren’t showing up. For most of us – at least in the beginning – everything that happens on our blogs is because we’ve learned how to make it happen.

Once you start having some success (or if you’ve got money to invest from the beginning), you’ll be able to hire a web designer, probably even a VA to help get some of the work done. But that can lead to more headaches – your vision for your blog might not be so easy to explain to someone who’s working for you. And I’ve seen too many times where VAs have half-assed through a job, making a blogger look bad. While it can take some of the pressure off you, it does add another thing to keep an eye on.

And it can all disappear…

Even after you’ve been blogging a while and things are going pretty well, there’s a lot of poop out there that’s just waiting to hit your fan. For instance, Google may change their algorithm and kill your search traffic. That’s what happened to me back in the first Panda update – My main money making blog at the time lost literally 90% of its traffic, and I said goodbye to a major income source. It wasn’t a happy time.

If you blog on Blogger or a similar sight, you may log in to find that your blog has been taken down for some perceived violation of their Terms of Service. Whether you’ve actually done something unknowingly or if they’ve made a mistake, it’s gut-wrenching to log into your blog and have it just… not exist.

Or what if you wake up one morning and your Amazon or AdSense account has been revoked? I know people that have had this happen – one of them saw a 6 figure income disappear overnight with his Amazon account.

Look at what happened to me this past year.  To start with, we had a dispute with our internet provider that ended up with us not having any internet for nearly 5 months. No internet makes it kind of hard to be a blogger, dudes.

On top of that, when I finally got back on line last week, I went to check my Amazon account and found out that because I had not taken action on an important email they had sent me (that I never saw because of the whole not-having-internet thingie), my account was closed down.

None of those things are impossible to come back from, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got my internet back now, and after chatting with a rep at Amazon, I’m able to open a new associate’s account. But it’s stressful to know that they can happen to you, even more stressful when they do. That’s why it’s important to be resilient in this industry – and never put all your eggs in one basket.

What About Your Readers?

Now, something that can be pretty awesome about blogging is the fans. Once you start picking up a little traffic, you’ll start getting emails from people saying how much they love your work, asking for advice and kind of treating you like a celeb. I’m not going to deny, it can be a HUGE boost to the ego.

But then there’s the dark side of the fans, too – the nutjobs and trolls. Trolls suck – it’s best to just delete their messages and ignore them because most of the time they just want your attention and to annoy you. But even when you delete the messages, some of the things they say can stick in your mind and cause worry or self-doubt. “I’m I really a terrible mother? Do I really look that bad in my picture? Does my blog really suck?” You’ve got to have thick skin, and learn how to let it all roll off like water on a duck’s back.

Unfortunately, there are times when it goes a little deeper than trolling or nasty comments. As mom bloggers, I can’t stress this enough – be very careful with your privacy. Be careful about how much information you give out about your family, and about where you live. You don’t want to get a message from someone saying “I took pictures of your house yesterday. Your kids looked cute in their school uniforms.” – I can tell you from experience, that’s not just creepy, it’s freaking terrifying. It’s the only time I’ve ever thought about giving up my blog, actually. Fortunately, I was able to determine the guy was just an annoyance and not really dangerous and after a while (actually a few years) he left me alone.

Is being a mom who blogs awesome? For sure! But it does have challenges. Take everything into account and make sure you’re ready to deal with it all before you dive in.